The ‘Grandparent Scam’ is making the rounds again and Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley is warning residents after receiving the scam call himself.
“I got a call from someone purporting to be a grandson of mine from a private number,” said Hundley. “After answering, the person said Grandpa, this is so and so but it did not sound like my grandson’s voice and when I asked what’s up, the caller disconnected.”
Hundley said he called his grandson and of course it wasn’t him.
“A little later my father called me wanting to know about my grandson as he had gotten a call from the ‘grandson’ explaining how he had been involved in a car wreck and needed cash. Dad hung up and called me.”
According to fraud.org, in a typical Grandparent Scam, a con artist calls or emails the victim posing as a relative in distress or someone claiming to represent the relative (such as a lawyer or law enforcement agent). The “relative” of the grandparent explains she is in trouble and needs their grandparent to wire them funds that will be used for bail money, lawyer’s fees, hospital bills, or another fictitious expense.
To detect and avoid the Grandparent Scam, NCL’s Fraud Center recommends the following tips:
- Beware of any urgent solicitation of funds, especially if it is needed to pay for unexpected bills, such as bail money, lawyer’s fees, or doctor bills
- Before sending funds, independently contact the relative (or parent of the relative) the scam artist is claiming to be (or represent) at a known phone number to verify the details of the story.
- Scam artist’s payment method of choice is the wire transfer. Any urgent request to wire money should be treated suspiciously.
- Be aware that fraudsters attempting the Grandparent Scam may call late at night to confuse potential victims.
- Consumers who have been victims of this scam should immediately report it to local law enforcement, their state attorney general and NCL’s Fraud Center at Fraud.org.
“As concerning and scary as a call such as this can be, always get good information about the wreck, the arrest, or whatever the dire circumstances are and verify what is going on.”